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Bhelliom

Luke's balance wishlist

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39 minutes ago, natertot said:

If it was 3 points cough insatiable hunger cough it would be strong. I have made this point before, it is 6 points and you need to spend surges to use. Insatiable 3, and you can just use it if you want. 3 points and you would see probably see this on the board.  Attacking at I4 makes a concern to get her into combat anywhere but a flank.

I do think it’s a bit over costed, but it isn’t a black and white comparison to Insatiable Hunger. Hunger occurs during the end phase. So you know when setting dials where Ravos is. Kari shoots at Init2 and then has access to what’s probably a 1-2 march without without a bank. You will activate before nearly every opponent and change your location. This gives you options to jam charges, move out of arc, etc. 

 

While it is surge dependent, it is also potentially more powerful than Insatiable Hunger in the correct hands. 

 

I still, in spite of that, think it should probably be more like 4 points

 

EDIT: And since you guys stapled Fortuna’s Dice to her, getting surges to trigger it and a rally to bring it back isn’t exactly hard

Edited by Church14

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38 minutes ago, Church14 said:

EDIT: And since you guys stapled Fortuna’s Dice to her, getting surges to trigger it and a rally to bring it back isn’t exactly hard

True but you are most likely giving up 2 to 4 damage on the shot even with fortunas depending on how far you want to go.  Unless you get hit surge on blue you will not optimize like you do when just shooting.

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48 minutes ago, natertot said:

True but you are most likely giving up 2 to 4 damage on the shot even with fortunas depending on how far you want to go.  Unless you get hit surge on blue you will not optimize like you do when just shooting.

If your ranged focus with her is raw damage then you are using her wrong anyway. She is there to snipe figures on her way in. 

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1 hour ago, Church14 said:

If your ranged focus with her is raw damage then you are using her wrong anyway. She is there to snipe figures on her way in. 

Which means you need an accuracy, a hit and then you have surge(s) too?  That is a lot to ask for out of a blue and white die. 

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To swing back around to some conversation that we had earlier today.

I also play Star Wars Armada, which received a major errata in April.  In reviewing those changes, I think there are general patterns we can look at with respect to runewars.  First, FFG is perfectly ok with the fact that game designers sometimes come out with dud cards.  This might be an upgrade card or two that simply doesn't catch hold.  In Runewars, it might be that a unit has 4 different tray configurations, but one of them simply doesn't catch on for whatever reason.   So although we might be able to fix that with a cost adjustment to a tray formation or two, don't expect them to go back and bring some cards up to speed with Errata or RRG adjustments.   Nothing was recosted, and generally changes tended to preserve the working nature of the card.  Small changes like adding an exhaust have brought some key cards in line.  Sometimes a clause or two gets added.  These also tended to be done where something extreme was present about the game that forced the game in a particular direction.  Now, I think it is perfectly natural for some units and tray configurations to be a touch better than others.  I don't play Daqan, and while the 3x1 seems quite a bit better than the 2x1, it also doesn't leave me feeling like I'm lacking resources in playing against it.  So I'd be inclined against not marking it broken and I'm also really at a loss.  It also normal in FFG to address past underpower problems with future releases.  It is pretty normal after a new release for play to funnel in particular directions (e.g. Waiqar playing Lord Vorunthul almost exclusively now).  I don't feel like I'm lacking resources against lists that have him, so I'm hesitant to call him OP this early out of the gate.

I do think looking at worlds, Spined Threshers were certainly overrepresented, and Scuttling Horror overrepresented among upgrades.  The data looks pretty clear on that point.  And so in reviewing Luke's proposals, I think something like "exhaust to Scuttle" is perfectly in line with how they dealt with other cards in the past.  Having played both Uthuk and against, that seems to me like the biggest culprit.  For that matter, I wonder if moving the Scuttle entirely within the units activation might help.  That would open up more of a possibility to seize terrain before they scuttle into it, charge them before the scuttle, and so forth.  Honestly, as a small time (30%) Uthuk player, remembering to trigger Scuttle during its proper timing is somewhat difficult because of that oddity.   I think some of the concerns about rerolls and panics have other options to deal with.

I'd also add that as a Latari player, I've looked extensively at what Scions can do by comparison, and the numbers bear up.  Someone suggested Fertile Soil was too expensive, and while it looks weaker on the surface, the Latari pretty much invite you to play with Malcornes and reroll toward Green/Blue and away from red.  Just by doing that, you're limiting some Uthuk abilities and taking some options away on their dials.  And if you do reroll toward Green, you trigger it 80% of the time, which is good enough.  Fertile Soil is actually more expensive because it has the potential to do more than Devouring Maws does.  Maws gives you a flat 2 extra damage points per wound recovered.  Fertile Soil averages 2.5, but it can also hit 2.75 if you're rerolling toward Blue, and then you can take it across the 2x1 to 3x2 formation.  The 2x1 might want to armor-up and block, while the 3x2 simply wants to hold onto rerolls and threat as long as possible.  There's then the odd fact that the higher armor you are, the more possibility for a damage loss to occur.  The cost doesn't scare me away from taking it.  So I don't see the problem in the Thresher itself, but more how Scuttling Horror affects it and substantially improves it, and a small tweak might help it immensely.

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7 hours ago, Darth Matthew said:

Which means you need an accuracy, a hit and then you have surge(s) too?  That is a lot to ask for out of a blue and white die. 

Accuracy, hit, and surge between two dice, a reroll, and FDice isn’t that much to ask. That’s a free short March, a small figure dead, and FDice readied for next turn. The last (fourth) icon, if you get one, is a bonus 

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3 hours ago, Church14 said:

Accuracy, hit, and surge between two dice, a reroll, and FDice isn’t that much to ask. That’s a free short March, a small figure dead, and FDice readied for next turn. The last (fourth) icon, if you get one, is a bonus 

The fact of the matter is, there is a cost. Getting good results on the roll is nice because it lets you bank an inspiration token, and every hit is two damage. Sometimes you get hit blank after the reroll and have to make a choice. Sometimes it's the difference between scooting up and killing a whole tray, reducing the rerolls of a unit that's about to charge, or a tray engaged with another of your units to free it up for a charge. Shooting at I2 has a ton of utility, so I think it's fair to say she does more than just snipe figure upgrades.

When you get right down to it, you're paying six points to trade damage or utility for mobility. Sometimes worth it, but it's not like it's free.

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On Kari with Latari training... The cost is 6 points.  What you get for that 6 points is versatility and improved action economy. 

If you are playing Kari as a unit that only shoots you aren't getting full value from her.  Her max damage is 6 at range.  It is 10 (14 on a flank) and allows for creative distribution at melee. 

The trouble sometimes occurs when you need to get her in position to safely engage something when you could also be shooting things (sniping figure upgrades or lowering threat).  Latari training gives you the ability to move and shoot at the same time which is extremely valuable.  Even if it costs you some damage, you will make it up when you get engaged. 

You also have the possibility of reliably getting engaged with something at range 2-3 while shooting at initiative 2, potentially canceling their dial for the round.  Even if you don't do it your opponent has to respect it and it will put them to a hard decision.  

I think it is actually well worth the 6 points.

Side note:  I do not think she is overpowered.  I actually think she represents the ideal balance point of a hero in this game.  They should represent a dangerous problem that you have to solve when you look across the table.

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If the competition is Fortunas dice, I tend to dislike upgrades that take away some benefit of my native abilities.  I paid for precise, and while I might have lower damage than with fortunas, the point of precise is to make it much more likely but not certain that I got what I want.

Edited by Vergilius

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The topic of "changes FFG might actually make" is an interesting one, and although it's probably a waste of time to speculate so specifically, here I go. I hear Armada had a campaign release, so let's imagine we get the same for Runewars: a $40-60 box full of cardboard. Give me 3-4 new pieces of terrain, a hacked-together campaign system, a bit of lore, and a pile of upgrade cards. Heck, make it legacy style, with sealed packs of upgrades that unlock over the course of a campaign, that would be quite cute.

New upgrade category - Titles. Each unit may be equipped with one Title, regardless of its available upgrade slots.

edit: yes, upgrade bloat bad, I suppose there's nothing to stop them from just being a slot the unit already has with "xxx only". I still prefer the title solution, but I am very plugged in. Patches aren't pretty, but they hold things together!

 

Vengeful Stalker - Title, 0 points. Kari Wraithstalker only. Unique.
The initiative of your red actions is reduced by one.
After you perform a [march] or [shift], you may perform a [reform].
Ranged effects measured to or from you have a maximum range of 3.

This guts Kari's power as a ranged piece, but makes her a much more interesting melee striker. It's halfway towards making her a whole new hero at this point, which I think is neat. She's much better at getting up close and taking out targets in a select area, but much much worse at shooting and throwing knives.

Legion Commander - Title, 0 points. Ardus Ix'Erebus only. Unique.
[Skill]: Choose another ally at range 1-3. That unit may perform a [shift] or [reform]. This [shift] may not be used to enter or exit terrain, or to disengage. If this [shift] results in a collision with an enemy unit, treat it as a charge.

Pretty basic, gives Ardus the battlefield control of Prince Faolan or Th'uk Tar, but with sensible restrictions on terrain and disengaging as well as a neat little way to cheat some charges. I've advocated for about a five point drop to Ardus's cost, so a free 5ish point value works too!

Lord of Death - Title, 0 points. Ankaur Maro only. Unique.
Your [skill] can add a maximum of two trays.
When your [skill] targets a unit of Reanimates, do not suffer wounds.
Friendly Waiqar units at range 1 gain Protector.

This would need some testing and might be horribly oppressive, but he doesn't kill himself while raising Reanimates and makes his own cover. Protector is an interesting keyword, and I've long wondered if a unit of Reanimates with the Profane banner would be a good wingman for old Ankaur. This grants that, and also some interesting positional game to protect your other units! 

Border Defenders - Title, 0 points. Rune Golems only. Unique.
When you perform a [march], you may cancel your [charge] modifier to increase the speed of the [march] by 1.

I've thought a lot about what I really want out of Rune Golems, and one thing is certainly the ability to move across the board with any kind of reliability. More and more I think the games they do best for me have less to do with clutch 4 speed charges and more with actually getting up the board to participate. This, in large part, adds a 1 march blue bonus action modifier to their dial. I think I like it, because it mostly keeps their interesting weaknesses and doesn't specifically amplify their strengths.

Sunderland Veterans - Title, 5 points. Spearmen only. Unique.
When you reveal a [defend] modifier, each unit touching your front edge suffers damage equal to your threat.
While you have a [defend] modifier active, enemy units that collide with your front edge suffer damage equal to your threat.

This is basically a vanity project, and maybe shouldn't be printed. Effectively adding a hit to the already strong defend modifier is very very good, and probably cements Lance Corporal as the correct Spearmen champion. It's fun to dream though!

Thirteenth Dread Host - Title, 0 points. Reanimates only. Unique.
When you Regenerate, place one additional Reanimate figure.
When an enemy engaged with you suffers a morale test, draw one additional card from the morale deck. That enemy suffers damage equal to the severity of the test.

Buff Regeneration a bit, and lean into their weak-ish morale enhance modifier. Wraiths introduced more morale stuff to Waiqar which is good, but they should at least be contenders for the scary faction! Also strengthens the unit's attrition game which should be Reanimates' theme.

 

These, plus a couple targeted nerf erratas (insatiable, scuttle, and vorun'thul probably) would make me feel much better about the state of the game.

Edited by Bhelliom

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I wouldn’t keep adding new upgrade types. This invites the XWMG issue of completely screwing all those units that should have had the upgrade and now can’t keep up with new releases. Then you release upgrades to add new slots to old heroes and units and you need a sleeve page from a binder to field a ship. Having to check a legal document worth of FAQ to see how the 7 cards you equipped all interact is a reason I stopped playing XWMG

 

No. 

 

A campaign box with 2-3 new uniques for Ankaur, Ardus, Hawthorne, and Kari and 1-2 for the rest of the heroes? Sure

Edited by Church14

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Thuuktar comes out with four and six respectively off his two incarnations and suddenly everyone else looks lame by comparison.  This really is the best way to make more of these heroes relevant without bloating the game with titles.  It would also be really easy to do.

 

and one really well designed choice would do it.

Edited by Vergilius

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45 minutes ago, Vergilius said:

Thuuktar comes out with four and six respectively off his two incarnations and suddenly everyone else looks lame by comparison.  This really is the best way to make more of these heroes relevant without bloating the game with titles.  It would also be really easy to do.

 

and one really well designed choice would do it.

I would prefer two new really well designed choices. I don’t want heroes forced into single niche builds. 1/2 viable uniques is rough. 3/4 is great. 

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29 minutes ago, Church14 said:

I would prefer two new really well designed choices. I don’t want heroes forced into single niche builds. 1/2 viable uniques is rough. 3/4 is great. 

I agree, but I also wonder what sort of effects would fit someone like Ankaur Maro "better" than his overcosted original uniques? I really like his theme and that of his uniques, and it is a shame that they are not viable for use :(

But if one of the new cards would combine regenerative magic AND violent forces for 7p ("Master of Zorgas"), that would be really great! 

Ardus is also in dire need of a similar treatment with a card combining ardus fury with ancient technique for 3p ("Ancient fury").

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I genuinely don’t know why points adjustments appear so hard for FFG to do? These are all positive and interesting balancing ideas but we already have a potentially built in balancing option that doesn’t encourage bloat. 

Just change the points values FFG! 

Do that and you don’t need to test ever increasingly complex or arcane interactions (how does new upgrade X interact with Y from the core box?) and we don’t need a degree in Rules interpretation. 

Rather than trying to mangle language to make things “balanced” (such as it is) you can finesse upgrades up or down by a small degree.

It (theoretically) increases viable builds and the number of viable units types (the 2x1 X-bows should either have similar points efficiency as the 3x1 OR fill a different purpose in an army) 

 

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4 hours ago, Suhawk75 said:

I genuinely don’t know why points adjustments appear so hard for FFG to do? These are all positive and interesting balancing ideas but we already have a potentially built in balancing option that doesn’t encourage bloat. 

Just change the points values FFG! 

Do that and you don’t need to test ever increasingly complex or arcane interactions (how does new upgrade X interact with Y from the core box?) and we don’t need a degree in Rules interpretation. 

Rather than trying to mangle language to make things “balanced” (such as it is) you can finesse upgrades up or down by a small degree.

It (theoretically) increases viable builds and the number of viable units types (the 2x1 X-bows should either have similar points efficiency as the 3x1 OR fill a different purpose in an army) 

 

Points adjustments could work, but don’t address when a card is structurally bad or structurally too good. 

 

Look at Heraldric Surcoats. You could drop it to 1 point and most people would still take Raven Tabards first. So to “balance” Surcoats, Raven Tabards need to go up in cost. 

 

Now, just increasing a single upgrade’s cost: Lets use Scuttle. Let’s assume that the interwebz is right and Scuttle needs a massive increase in points. Let’s go to 10 for a straw man quick. What happens? 

 

Well, at 10 points, nearly everyone will stop bringing Scuttle except for a few who swear by it. They will work out niche builds that lean on having 4X 2-4 capacity terrain and a massive bid for first place to still get mileage out of the card. Their continued use will cause the community at large to say the card is still viable enough while it is essentially been beefed out of the game for 90% of Uthuk players. 

 

Somehwere in the The middle seems good. Except you cannot name a points cost where players will still take it and their opponents won’t get salty about the effects. There will still be issues players have with the power to move post-dial-setting, but pre-anyone-activating 

 

Errata’ing a powerful card can be a better option. If FFG is worried about new players having to look at errata, well then stuff 64 copies of a new AA version of said card into the next OP kit. Most stores and players will have extras around for new players until the reprints have a corrected card

Edited by Church14

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They're going to design cards that just don't work, it's a bummer, but I would just let them go to the wayside.  You can also price too powerful cards out of competition (I'm looking at you Xwing, with your gunner-Luke) .  I do think the X-wing approach of dynamic point pricing on units and upgrades along with dynamic upgrade slot listings is a good enough solution to afford future balancing.   Runewars could even add dynamic formation sizes too.   Give yourselves these options and you can post-fix the majority of things.  

The real bummer is when a unit dial is bad -- like Ardus or Rune Golems.  Much harder to price those into viability, and you don't like losing entire units (with upgrades, it doesn't sting as much)

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Church14 said:

Points adjustments could work, but don’t address when a card is structurally bad or structurally too good. 

 

Look at Heraldric Surcoats. You could drop it to 1 point and most people would still take Raven Tabards first. So to “balance” Surcoats, Raven Tabards need to go up in cost. 

 

Now, just increasing a single upgrade’s cost: Lets use Scuttle. Let’s assume that the interwebz is right and Scuttle needs a massive increase in points. Let’s go to 10 for a straw man quick. What happens? 

 

Well, at 10 points, nearly everyone will stop bringing Scuttle except for a few who swear by it. They will work out niche builds that lean on having 4X 2-4 capacity terrain and a massive bid for first place to still get mileage out of the card. Their continued use will cause the community at large to say the card is still viable enough while it is essentially been beefed out of the game for 90% of Uthuk players. 

 

Somehwere in the The middle seems good. Except you cannot name a points cost where players will still take it and their opponents won’t get salty about the effects. There will still be issues players have with the power to move post-dial-setting, but pre-anyone-activating 

Alas there is no perfect solution but I see more benefits to points rebalancing than to extensive Errata. I’m sure people on the internet will always be salty over something though! 

Even with points rebalancing there would always be cards that are simply too weak or too uninteresting to play. I think this is ok as long as there is reasonable competition for every slot / upgrade. 

The strong cards are difficult to do right but, taking your example of Scuttle, the scenario you outline is actually not a bad result in my eyes. If the card cost is increased such that it goes from auto-include to “I’ve had to think long and hard about this and looked for synergies in my list/ terrain deck” surely that’s a great place for the meta to be in?

Ideally I’d prefer something like 25-30% of players taking any upgrade as this would (hopefully) mean 3-4 viable options per slot. 

I think structurally bad cards can safely be left to bulk up those card binders. There will always be weaker cards. It’s reducing the clear water between amazing and good that we want. 

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15 minutes ago, Suhawk75 said:

Alas there is no perfect solution but I see more benefits to points rebalancing than to extensive Errata. I’m sure people on the internet will always be salty over something though! 

Even with points rebalancing there would always be cards that are simply too weak or too uninteresting to play. I think this is ok as long as there is reasonable competition for every slot / upgrade. 

The strong cards are difficult to do right but, taking your example of Scuttle, the scenario you outline is actually not a bad result in my eyes. If the card cost is increased such that it goes from auto-include to “I’ve had to think long and hard about this and looked for synergies in my list/ terrain deck” surely that’s a great place for the meta to be in?

Ideally I’d prefer something like 25-30% of players taking any upgrade as this would (hopefully) mean 3-4 viable options per slot. 

I think structurally bad cards can safely be left to bulk up those card binders. There will always be weaker cards. It’s reducing the clear water between amazing and good that we want. 

My take on this may also be driven by my basic opinion that upgrade cards should not be powerful. I’d rather nerf something to weakness or mediocrity than increased in points. 

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16 minutes ago, Church14 said:

My take on this may also be driven by my basic opinion that upgrade cards should not be powerful.

I'm of the opinion that a lot of the flavor of the game comes from upgrades. A large portion of the uniqueness of different units and builds come from the upgrades attached to the unit. Moreso, the feel that each faction has is pulled mostly from the upgrades they have available to them.

 

With Runewars, like most of the FFG miniature games, the base game is simple and the upgrades are what makes the game great.

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Imo it is easier, and better to resequence or reword cards, rather than adjust price, which can have much worse consequences.

For example, scuttle can be changed to exhaust to scuttle, or resequenced to before dials are set, or even both. It will still see play and is still good. Raise it by 5-7 points, and it's still a highly abusable card but we are now just punishing that faction with a high tax for a good card. I'd rather weaken the card and leave it as a low cost, low reward upgrade.

Other cards can be boosted in the same way. Take duskblade for instance, great card, but overpriced. Rather than reprice it, it could be erratad to 1 surge to trigger. Now it's worth the 8 points. If it were simply repriced, it still wouldn't see much play, because 2 surges or adding CI is just too much effort put into the ability.

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12 hours ago, Suhawk75 said:

I genuinely don’t know why points adjustments appear so hard for FFG to do? These are all positive and interesting balancing ideas but we already have a potentially built in balancing option that doesn’t encourage bloat. 

Just change the points values FFG! 

Do that and you don’t need to test ever increasingly complex or arcane interactions (how does new upgrade X interact with Y from the core box?) and we don’t need a degree in Rules interpretation. 

Rather than trying to mangle language to make things “balanced” (such as it is) you can finesse upgrades up or down by a small degree.

It (theoretically) increases viable builds and the number of viable units types (the 2x1 X-bows should either have similar points efficiency as the 3x1 OR fill a different purpose in an army) 

 

I can answer this easily from my experience as both a TO and a store owner.

 

New player walks in, his box of cool plastic dudes in his hand. They're super excited to play in their first event! They hand over their list, built out of what they can scrape up for the event.

You hand it back, and begrudgingly tell them it's illegal, it's over on points. That player protests, pulls out the cards that came in his box, and shows you the math on why it's legal. You then have to inform him of a PDF that he had 0 knowledge of that changes the cost of a slew of cards, something he had no way of reasonably having knowledge of being so new to the game. He walks out, and you never see him again. That same box pops up on Facebook for sale a week later. "Game was fun, but couldn't play in the event"

 

It's happened before. Jumpmasters losing slots caused me to turn a player away because of an illegal list he had no knowledge from the FAQ. It's a sad truth, it would take 1-2 years to get new cards with the adjusted points cost out into the market, and that doesn't remove all of the previous printings.

 

A website that lists all of the points is a great concept, but actively hurts new player growth as long as there's points printed on cards currently.

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